Read this if…
- You desire to know the purpose and the mystery of the Bible’s final book
- You want to see how God’s full grace and full justice are perfectly compatible
- You need an exhortation against leading a sinful or complacent life and encouragement to lead an obedient one, faithfully waiting on Jesus’ return
The Vision of Hope in Revelation
Despite gallons of ink spilled and hours of movies made on the book of Revelation, it remains one of the most misunderstood books of Scripture. But Scott Duvall has good news for the discouraged reader–you don’t have to figure out a complicated string of timelines and political theories to understand the heart of God’s message to his people in Revelation.
Taking a thematic approach to Revelation, Duvall helps you focus on the vision of hope Revelation provides believers by exploring the biblical themes of God, worship, the people of God, the Holy Spirit, our mission, the Lamb of God, judgment, perseverance, and more, allowing you to understand and apply the message of Revelation–right here, right now.
If the last book of the Bible is still a mystery to you, or if your knowledge of it is limited to what you’ve read in novels or seen in movies, get ready for an eye-opening, faith-strengthening read.
Review by Anthony Bodanza. Anthony is a high school student in my my church and plans to attend Liberty University in the Fall.
Though a topic that causes much debate and even division in the church, The Heart of Revelation does not attempt to divine the specifics of the end times. Rather, Duvall focuses on 10 major themes of Revelation – God, Worship, The People of God, The Holy Spirit, Our Enemies, The Mission, Jesus Christ, Judgment, The New Creation, and Perseverance – shedding light on their purposes at the time of the writing, and their implications for today. In the introduction, Duvall writes, [tweethis]My hope is that as you learn what Revelation teaches on each theme, you will grasp the main message of this dramatic final chapter of the Bible and its relevance for the Christian life @jscottduvall[/tweetthis] A hope which is very much realized.
The Heart of Revelation would be a great book to study with a group, or by yourself, as Duvall gives the reader many tools to do so. At the end of each chapter there is a concluding section in which Duvall sums up what was just taught, refreshing the reader, and helping information to stick. After this, he gives “Key texts” utilized in the chapter, followed by a “Reading plan” consisting of a few chapters to read. Finally, to end the chapter he gives 7 “Community Group Questions” that are very thought provoking for the individual reader and discussion oriented for the group.
Duvall takes a holistic approach in every chapter, using Scripture from all over Revelation, as well as 34 other books in Scripture. (Make sure you have your Bible at your side!) This gives a deeper credibility to his points and interpretations of apocalyptic symbols, and helps put Revelation in its place among the whole canon of Scripture.
Duvall, though a Revelation scholar, stays away from the highly theological jargon and speculations about the specific eschatology (i.e. Pre-millenial Dispensational, A-millenial, etc.). Instead, he focuses on the overarching implications of the book: God is just and will judge sin and sinners. Jesus is savior and has already conquered death and sin for those who would repent, believe, and obey Him. The Heart of Revelation is a call to be right before God, and call others to be so as well.
Upon finishing the book, I read Revelation straight through. It took a little over an hour, but what a joy it was. I was able to see what Duvall had written about, spanned across the pages of the Word of God. I understood more of what was happening than ever before, and I caught the meaning that Duvall had spoken of: There is eternal judgment for sinners, but eternal joy for believers.
I believe firmly that our calling as Christians is to obey the Great Commandment, and carry out the Great Commission. These two “Great’s” of the Bible call us to love the Lord, which results in obeying Him and carrying out the Great Commission of making disciples; and to love others, which results in our sharing of the only way they can be freed from their slavery and sin, therefore carrying out the Great Commission. Duvall has embodied this throughout The Heart of the Revelation, explaining over and over again the importance of the Gospel for us, and what it means for those who don’t believe it – the reason we need to tell them. I would recommend this book to anyone wrestling with the final book of the Bible, and anyone who needs motivation to share the Gospel with others, what Jesus commissioned us to as He rose to create for us a place with our Father.